Pieces by G. Benson

MOVING. POWERFUL. CAPTIVATING. All caps, bolded, if I could I would put in flashing neon lights. This book is all of these adjectives and so much more. This story pulls you in and holds you till the very end. I cannot do this book justice in a review. All I can say is read it, you will not be disappointed. G. Benson brings you another amazing story. She is truly a remarkable writer.

Carmen Garcia is sixteen, but you wouldn’t know it. The child of a drug addicted mother, Carmen has had to walk a tightrope all of her life. She cannot just be a student, a teen. She doesn’t know how to be those things because that was never an option for her, that is a luxury for her classmates. No, she is the caretaker to her 8-year-old brother, she pays the bills, she keeps her mother’s secrets so her family can survive. She has been a product of the foster care system before, her brother has too. To say that went poorly would be a terribly unjust understatement. It was bad enough that Carmen live on the streets, surviving by the skin of her teeth. Her worst nightmare becomes a reality when a knock at the door in the wee hours of the morning comes from a police officer letting her know her mother has been found dead.

Ollie is our other main character. Ollie has a huge heart. Her kindness is truly an endearing quality. She is an artist who tends to live in her head but is brought back from the clouds by an amazing group of friends and supportive parents. Ollie notices Carmen one day at school and is intrigued, and also totally smitten. She finds a way to “accidentally” bump into the newcomer. That moment bonds these two teens in a way that neither excepted but both so badly need.

I could talk about this story forever, it’s just that good. You don’t need me to do that though. I’ll ruin it for you and what truly is my main point is that you want this book in your life. Get your hands on this one, you will not be sorry. The romance is deliciously sweet. The story is enthralling and so beautifully written. G. Benson gives so many diverse characters a strong voice. This is an easy 5 stars.

5 out of 5 stars

33878313

Fake It Till You Make It by M. Ullrich

M. Ullrich is a fantastic writer, one of the best, in my opinion in the f/f romance genre. I think when we pick up a book we are looking for a few key factors. Developed characters, yup Ullrich gives us those in spades. Good dialogue, once again we have that too, thank goodness. A strong balance between showing and telling, again we are good. Lastly the originality element. Is this another recycled plot line, and if it is you better bring it better that the predecessors. This factor Ullrich owns easily, her books have a uniqueness that we don’t always see in this particular genre. Her stories go a bit outside the box and they do it in the best possible way. Fake It Till You Make It is no exception.

Our main protagonist is Genevieve Applegate. Gen is your small town girl, from rural Pennsylvania. She has had the same friends since birth, knows every soul in town. Unlike everyone else, Gen feels this need to get out and do more. She feels as though her wings have been clipped both professionally and personally. So she scours the employment ads for a newspaper or magazine journalist position that will take her anywhere outside of Milan, Pennsylvania.

Harper Davies is the editor/owner of Out Shore Magazine. Harper who has been burned by love once does not see that in her cards anymore. She pours her heart and soul into the magazine and that takes precedence in her live above everything else. Everything changes when she interviews, the adorable girl next door, Genevieve Applegate. For the first time in a very long time, Harper wants to get to know a woman in more than a professional aspect.

There is a big problem, Gen has no clue she just accepted a position at LGBT publication. She also digs herself in a big ol’ self-inflicted hole by allowing everyone to believe she is a lesbian. This is especially a problem since she has a fiancé, a man, named Jeremy who she has been dating for a decade. EEK! You can see the dilemma, the drama from a mile away. You also get the see the amazing chemistry Harper and Gen have. A sweet romance, that is eye-opening for both of our leading ladies.

My only complaint is I wish the book when have been longer. This one is definitely on the shorter side than I usually prefer. Overall this is a really good book, and you can count on this author giving you a fantastic story time and time again. I cannot wait to see where she takes us next.

4.25 out of 5 stars

32072931

Unlikely Match by Fiona Riley

If you liked Fiona Riley’s debut novel, Miss Match, well you just have to read her second installment into the Perfect Match series. Riley brings us two adorable strong female leads that have an abundance of chemistry. I mean really what more does a romance need.

If you think back to Miss Match you remember that Lucinda was helping an adorable genius client of Samantha’s how to dance. Well, that client is now the main focus of Unlikely Match. Shelly White a lady version of Steve Jobs is looking for her true love. Shelly is an adorable character who reaches out and grabs your heart. She is dorky in the best possible ways. Her insecurities endear the reader to her. A female lead that is sexy, super smart and has a heart of gold is nothing to shake your finger at but seeing those little “imperfections” is absolutely adorable.

Out other main is Claire Moseley. Claire, also in Miss Match, was promoted by Lucinda to clean up some of the messes at Clear View. Clair leapfrogged some senior associates to become a PR and marketing executive and basically Lucinda’s right-hand woman. Claire is tenacious and competitive by nature. She has no no-nonsense approach to her job, she unequivocally knows that Luce went out on a limb and offered her a huge opportunity career-wise. In return, Claire works long hours and produces quality work time and time again, her loyalty to Clear View and her boss is endless. She is the ultimate workhorse. What she hasn’t had much luck in is meeting anyone special. Work takes precedence and she just hasn’t put herself out there in quite some time. That is till she is introduced to Shelly, and they begin working together on unrolling a few new products for the IT magnet. Shelly makes Claire want things she had put on the backburner. The only problem is dating a client is probably not the best idea career-wise.

This book is a true romance, built on two strong capable women and their journey to each other. The story is well crafted, as are the characters. They feel real. You read the book and feel as you could actually know women like this in real life. The best part is these two have chemistry in and out of the bedroom. Yay for that! I loved Riley’s first book and without a doubt took her writing up a notch. It was nice seeing Luce and Samantha together again, but the best part is those two dynamic characters stayed in the background and let Shelly and Claire be the true stars of this book. A really great read. I loved it!

4.25 out of 5 stars

Wendy of the Wallops (The Wallops, #2) by Gill McKnight

Wendy of the Wallops is the second edition to The Wallops series by the amazing Gill McKnight. I was absolutely delighted to find out the ever so klutzy Wendy was going to be the main focus of the book. I can absolutely tell you that Wendy of the Wallops did not disappoint.
If you remember from the last book, Wendy had just come to terms with her sexuality. If you don’t it will be okay this one can easily be read as a standalone, but why on Earth would you want to do that. Wendy is an interesting character. She is serious rule follower that is chock-full of insecurities but a good friend and steward to her community. She also tends to get herself tangled in wacky crazy predicaments. All of this makes for a dang good read full of laughs and zaniness.

When we meet Wendy she has just been assigned to a new case. An informant who has turned on a nasty gang has just gone on the lamb. The London police think that he may be headed to see his daughter who has just moved to the Wallops. Wendy is in charge of keeping an eye on things in town and making a connection with his young daughter. To do so she must begin volunteering a leader for the Girl Guides. This runs in smack dab into the mischievous and sexy Kiera Minsk. Oh, let the chemistry just boil over. Kiera pushes all of Wendy’s buttons but she cannot keep her eyes off her.

McKnight has given us one damn good book. I was thoroughly wrapped up in its awesomeness. A loved every minute and I truly hope to see these characters again.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

33878340

Life Pushes You Along by Emma Sterner-Radley

Life is funny sometimes. One day you’re totally fine and then the next you have that overwhelming blah feeling. You take a look around and start to wonder why am I stuck in this rut? Do you take a much need vacation, take up a new hobby or do you flip a switch and make a much-needed career change? That’s exactly what our main character, Zoe does. She takes a leap a faith and starts to change her life’s current trajectory. Will her gamble be worth it?

Zoe Achidi has not had an easy life. When she came out to her parents they abandoned her. Cast out of her childhood home as a teen, she has literally had to make it the hard way. Begging for a job, and working tirelessly to keep a roof over her head and food on the table. Her boss and owner of the neighborhood bookstore, is the ultimate slacker, using Zoe as his workhorse so he can phone it in but keep the benefits of her hard work. Most of us wouldn’t put up with what Zoe does, but how do you leave a job that saved you from the streets, even though you know you are capable of so much more. Rock meet hard place, right! The one highlight of her existence is an amazing brother, bestie and the super-hot client that visits her workplace.

Rebecca Clare is said hottie. Rebecca is a successful businesswoman. Over the course of time, Rebecca has taken notice of Zoe, but she’s the younger woman as out of her league. Funny, because Zoe thinks the exact same thing about Rebecca. Upon an unexpected meeting with Zoe’s brother, Rebecca agrees to help Zoe break out of her rut. She begins to assist Zoe, on improving her resume and searching for jobs with a better career path.
Rebecca and Zoe have a fantastic dynamic. These two have a magnetic pull to each other. Their heads war with the hearts, neither seeing how amazing they are but the other totally seeing it. Rebecca, at the age of 40, doesn’t see why a 26-year-old beauty would want anything to do with her other than a mentor. Zoe, cannot for the life of her, see why a successful professional would see anything in a lowly bookstore clerk. They click, they bring out the best in each other, and finally, the heart wins the battle and their heads get out of the way of love. A little help from the bestie and the brother help as well.

Overall this novella is well written, with excellent dialogues. Zoe and Rebecca are interesting and dynamic characters that jump right off the page. I can’t wait to see what Emma Sterner-Radley writes next.

4.25 out of 5 stars

In the Company of Crocodiles by Maggie Brown

Let me just say this book is quite well done. Maggie Brown writes a story that just sweeps you away. You literally are thrown into Australia and through Brown’s words you are chased by the crocodiles, you feel the oppressive humidity, you are right there with the characters as they face countless perilous situations.

Vivian “Viv” Andrews served her country for years as an Australian Secret Intelligence Service officer. She was involved in numerous covert operations around the globe, including Afghanistan where she was seriously injured. Viv decides then and there to take a step back and make her life as simple as possible. She lives in the rainforest and grows row crops when she’s not fishing. Her basic necessities are met, and when she needs companionship she visits her few friends in Cairns. Life, as she has known it for five years, is thrown into chaos when she finds a dead man in the mangroves

Claire Walker just happens to show up in her tiny seaside town the same day as the dead man is found. Claire, a behavioral scientist and special agent for a hush-hush government agency that needs Viv’s help to locate a possible ISIS training ground. Talk about throwing your relaxing haven into the crazy zone.

So the story takes off as Vivian reluctantly helping Claire, she doesn’t want to, nope not at all, but Claire appeals to her in a way she can’t deny. You know what it is, yes, attraction. Claire is gorgeous, smart and takes charge. She’s everything Vivian has always wanted in a partner but never had. She will help Claire find the terrorist cell because no matter what she puts her country before her own happiness. What she doesn’t know is that Miss Walker is equally interested in her. Newsflash, Viv is hot and doesn’t have any clue! So the story really takes off as these two ladies trek through rugged terrain looking for signs of a terror training camp. What they find is not quite a bunch of jihadists but that doesn’t mean their lives are not in serious danger.

This two spar throughout the book, ignoring their attraction for numerous reasons. Claire and Vic both respect each other, but miscommunication and assumptions (Viv thinks Claire is straight) keep acting as continuous roadblocks to the path of happy ever after. A little angsty but not overwhelmingly so. All in this book is pretty great. I definitely recommend it! I must say I love when an author makes both of leading ladies strong characters, who can hold their own.

4 out of 5 stars

 

Letter of the Law (Lone Star Law Series, #3) by Carsen Taite

I loved Bianca’s character in Above the Law, so I was super excited to see that she was the headliner for Letter of the Law. Bianca Cruz is a federal prosecutor who works diligently to keep the bad guys off the streets of Dallas. She works hard and when she isn’t saving the world she is the mother to a pre-teen girl. Bianca is spunky, this a ball of energy in a beautiful package has a sharp mind and holds nothing back. If she thinks it you can bet she is going to say it. I’m totally smitten with this character.

Our other main is tall and broody, Jade Vargas. If you have been following this series, you know the name Vargas is synonymous with her two uncles and their crime syndicate currently evading the law. Jade doesn’t associate with her uncles, their business is well known and she stays far away. What she does is spend her time breeding horses.

Bianca and jade run into each other and Jade is less than thrilled to find out about what has been happening back home while she was away on business. She doesn’t want anything to do with her uncles or the federal prosecutors trying to find one. Fiery clashes and lots of chemistry, you betcha!

My only complaint is I wish more time would have been spent just between Bianca and Jade. There is a lot of story, crime wise we are working through and I felt their buildup was a bit cheated. Overall a good story as always by Carsen Taite.

4 out of 5 stars

32072900